Hill, who won the world championship with Williams aged 36, said that the “arrival of the younger, faster driver” can seriously impact an older team-mate, using the comparison of Alain Prost arriving to McLaren to race alongside Niki Lauda in 1984.
Russell, 25, joined the Silver Arrows last year to pair with the now 38-year-old Hamilton. He leads Lewis 3-0 in their qualifying head-to-head in 2023, and Hill highlighted a possible reason.
Damon Hill: Is Hamilton losing his 'unconscious speed'?
Speaking on the F1 Nation podcast, he said: “This has happened a lot in the past, you know, when Niki Lauda had Prost arrive.
“When the older, more experienced driver is faced with the speed of a young arrival in the team, they've got an option.
"They can get depressed about it, throw their hands up in the air and say it's all over, or they can devote their energies to making sure that the outcome of the race is actually the thing that matters.”
Hill added that often drivers are unable to deliver the kind of pace they set at a younger age as they near the end of their career, saying: “In their late 30s, they can no longer do those absolutely absurd kind of transcendental laps that they used to be able to do when they were in their 20s.”
Hill said of Russell and Hamilton’s team-mate rivalry: “George is super quick, and he's revelling in his the early part of his career and he's got this speed.
“I don't know if Lewis has acknowledged that he can't match that, or I'm sure he will do eventually. But, I mean, it's possible that that instinctive unconscious speed is starting to leave him you know, it does happen.”
Although Hill said that drivers “do not lose what it is they know how to do”, he added: “Those days are rarer. And they are harder to to conjure up.
“You know, you have to sometimes be patient and wait for everything to come together. And of course Formula 1, any sport really doesn't wait long enough.”
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.